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  • Writer's pictureHailo

Hot Literati @ TLC Anti-Circumcision Event

I, Hailo, was at The Whitney when I got a text from Blake Parker telling me to come to this event because they the only Black person there. As I made my way through the new "Harold AI exhibit", Blake texted further furtive details about the event. Their friend would be performing soon, $5 stellas, and some doctor who kept using the world "flacid."

As a friend, I would not let Blake continue to be the only Black person there, so I showed up at the provided address which was some basement which I later learned was Sovereign House. Turns out, the key note (and only speaker/performer during my time there) was the face of the TLC Tugger. He gave his presentation, complete with a graphic slideshow and correlating songs. As I listened and surveyed the indie-sleaze-fitted, edgy crowd in the room, I tried to figure out the ratio of earnest to ironic attendees.

Bella recently said during one of our meetings that when someone takes a subject or something very earnestly, anyone who approaches it ironically immediately looks like an asshole. I think in the age of social media (and our current iteration of it especially) this line is extremely thin, and there are two different lines, the experience of an embodied self at an event and our digital self's attitude towards it, as presented to others. I'm obsessed with the psychological and cultural blending of these two selves in the past 10-15 years.

In the moment, I -- caught pretty off guard -- didn't have an open mind and was ready to leave just as soon as I'd arrived. But the next night, as I walked around The Met with a friend, he said "who knows... in thirty years that guy could be a hero. It's all about collective cultural attitudes which are always shifting and changing."


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